7 Ways to Handle Winter Skin Dryness & Dermatitis

Woman with dry skin in Winter 7 Ways to Handle Winter Skin Dryness & Dermatitis

As you cuddle up by the fireplace this winter, be sure to give your skin some extra care. Dry winter air can lead to dry and cracked skin, as well as dermatitis. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can manage your dry skin and find some relief. Here are some tips to enjoy smooth skin throughout the season.

How to Handle Skin Dryness

See a Dermatologist

At-home remedies can be effective at soothing dry skin. However, if you have a skin condition like atopic dermatitis or eczema, you may need higher strength treatments. Make an appointment with a dermatologist to receive a diagnosis for your dry skin. You can then start the skin care regimen that’s right for you. They may also recommend cosmetic treatments like facials and chemical peels to keep your skin smooth.

Use a Rich Lotion

While you may have used thinner lotions during the summer and early fall, it’s time to pull out the thicker creams once the weather cools down. Thicker lotions will deliver more moisture to your face and body. To best lock in moisture, apply your lotion or moisturizer when your skin is slightly damp. This will keep your skin smooth and hydrated for longer.

Opt for Gentle Skin Care Products

Many skin care products are too harsh for dry skin. Avoid any products with fragrance, as these can cause irritation. Instead, stick to skin care products that are hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. If you often deal with dry skin rashes like dermatitis, talk to your dermatologist about which skin care products are suitable for your skin. They will recommend which products to use with your dermatitis treatment.

Wear Gloves

When you bundle up and walk out the door, it’s easy to forget your gloves. However, exposing your hands to the cold can lead to dry and chapped skin. Apply lotion before leaving the house, and then slip on your gloves. The gloves will protect the skin on your hands from cold air, wind, and dryness. It can also be helpful to carry a bottle of hand lotion with you.

Avoid Hot Showers

A hot shower or bath can be comforting on a cold day. However, the hot water can be too harsh for your skin. Take warm showers instead to avoid drying out your skin. Pat dry with a towel and apply plenty of moisturizer after.

Use a Humidifier

If your skin is feeling dry and irritated after a cold winter day, consider running a humidifier at night. You might also choose to run humidifiers in your home throughout the day as a preventative measure. Remember that the air in your house dries out when you switch the heat on, and humidifiers add moisture back into the air.

Wear Gentle Fabrics

Your winter sweaters may be cozy, but fabrics like wool can irritate your dry skin or dermatitis. They may also cause an itchy skin rash. Wear soft and breathable fabrics like cotton when possible. And before you pull on your thick sweater, put on a soft t-shirt underneath. Remember that scented laundry detergents can irritate your skin as well, so choose a non-scented product for washing your clothes.


Winter can be tough on your skin, but the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists is here to help. With locations in Torrance, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we offer cosmetic, medical, and surgical services to support your skin health. Whether you’re dealing with dermatitis or want to give your skin a boost before an event, contact us today to get started.

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